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Broken Records / Kid Canaveral / Book Group – Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh – Saturday 2nd August 2014

Any bill with both Book Group and the Canaverals on it is going to be popular with the MPT family. But the good thing about Saturday was that the headliners, Broken Records, are less familiar in these parts.

So let’s start there. Despite having been close to my musical orbit in the last few years I confess that I’ve never fully taken to Broken Records.

Certainly I enjoyed the early singles, but I didn’t really connect with the debut LP when it came out. Nor did they make much of an impression the only time that I’d seen them live (supporting the Burns Unit in Glasgow a few years ago).

So I was quite pleased when, in preparing for Saturday’s show, I discovered that I liked a decent chunk of the new LP ‘Weights and Pulleys’. And quite a lot too.

The good news was that the live show was even better. Starting with the two excellent opening tracks from the album helped get me into the show right from the off and at times it was quite glorious.

In fact I’d goes as far to say that they undoubtedly tapped into a similar vein as the Arcade Fire. It’s a comparison I’ve heard many times over the years but, until Saturday, I’d never really bought into it .

And yet, the longer the set went on, the fewer new angles they seemed to bring to the show even if they remained enjoyable. With more than 65 minutes gone and lacking the grounding in the material to know that they still had such and such a great song to play , I started to lose a bit of interest. And with MPK2 visibly wilting we called decided to call it quits with no obvious end in sight.

However I don’t want to end on that negative note – we all enjoyed Broken Records a lot but were just maybe lacking in the sort of endurance to go the whole distance.

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Inevitably I’ve not got a lot to add to the many previous posts about Book Group or Kid Canaveral other than to say that it was grat to see them playing in the grand surroundings of the Queen’s Hall for the first (but hopefully not the last) time. Both played half hour sets (an unusual occurrence these days for the Canaverals) and they both seemed to suffer a little from support band syndrome – the sound wasn’t quite as full as it might have been. But they were both still brilliant even if the Bookies seemed to be breaking in a new bass player. 😦

Within their half hour Book Group didn’t even have enough time to play all the songs from the new E.P. but almost inevitably the balcony was just too tempting a destination for Graeme during an ecstatic ‘Victory Lap’, restored to its rightful place at the end of the set.

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As for the Canaverals, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more hushed version of ‘Her Hair Hangs Down’ whilst as a contrast ‘A Compromise’ sounded as huge as anything in the first hour or so of music, even if it wasn’t quite as face melting as it once was.

With touring commitments to ‘Now That You Are A Dancer’ now pretty much concluded it’s tempting to speculate as to what LP number 3 might bring. But it’s not obvious that Saturday provided many clues in that direction – other than it will likely be pretty darn good.

So two gigs in two nights and both were winners. Next!

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